Column Amar K. Soekhlal – Aflevering 41: Zelf – felicitatie!

Het was 8 maart, de dag van de Internationale vrouwendag. Ik was erop bedacht dat mijn WhatsApp zou exploderen met allerlei filmpjes over de rol van de vrouw. De één ludiek, de ander vol ironie, veel filmpjes uit India. U zal het ongetwijfeld ook hebben ontvangen. Een van de teksten die ik erg grappig vond, was: “Je kan zien dat het vandaag vrouwendag is, want het is de hele dag zeikweer”. Een andere was een foto van een vrouw voor een aanrecht vol met afwas. Ze verzuchtte dat het vandaag internationale vrouwendag is en dat ze een berg aan afwas heeft. Haar man die in een luxe fauteuil zat, pantoffels aan zijn voeten en vanachter de krant antwoordde: “Je kan het ook morgen afwassen hoor”. Dat ik om deze teksten smakelijk kan lachen zegt niets over mijn visie over de rechten van de vrouw. Ik doe alles in de huishouding. Van afwassen tot dweilen, van boodschappen doen tot koken. Mijn vrouw, dochter en nichtjes hebben de volledige vrijheid in het maken van hun keuzen. Alles in goed overleg met elkaar. En dit geldt ook voor al mijn vrienden in Den Haag en omstreken. Een goede vriend van mij kookt elke dag en doet ook de rest van de huishouding, weliswaar samen met zijn vrouw. En als hij een keer te laat is op een afspraak, dan krijgt hij steevast als reactie van mij: “Dekh, tu bhuláy gaile ápan lahangwá utáre ke” ( Kijk, je bent vergeten om je rok uit doen). Vol zelfspot zegt hij dan : O, sorry yár”. In mijn eigen familie in Suriname heeft mijn jongere broer er zorg voor gedragen dat ook ongetrouwde vrouwen en weduwen dulhá gingen parche. Dat is nog eens een doorbraak! Overigens, er was protest van slechts twee oudere vrouwen. De rest van de feestgangers vonden het vanzelfsprekend. En zo kan ik heel veel onderwerpen aankaarten die anno 2018 niet meer ter discussie staan. De aanleiding van het bovenstaande heeft alles te maken met het feit dat negen succesvolle Hindoestaanse vrouwen op 8 maart jl. in het Algemeen Dagblad een filmpje hebben gelanceerd met als titel #IKBENEENVROUWVANNU. De bedoeling van het filmpje is om taboes binnen de Hindoestaanse gemeenschap te doorbreken. Ik heb opgezocht wat taboe betekent: Een taboe is een onderwerp, thema of een handeling die als ongepast wordt gezien binnen een bepaalde context. Schending van een taboe leidt echter in iedere cultuur doorgaans tot reputatieschade.

Het gebruik van het woord taboe door deze dames wekt de suggestie dat het om verschrikkelijke onderwerpen gaat en dat de Hindoestaanse gemeenschap kleingeestig is. Ik heb deze taboe onderwerpen voor u onder elkaar gezet en dan mag u zelf bepalen hoe taboe het is?
1. Mijn kinderwens is mijn keus.
2. Ook wanneer ik kinderen heb, blijf ik doorwerken.
3. Dat ik zelf mijn partner uitkies, want het is mijn geluk.
4. Dat ik bepaal met wie, wanneer ik trouw of ik wel trouw.
5. Dat ik niet in een hokje te stoppen ben.

Toen ik dit hoorde, leek het wel of iemand voorlas uit het boek van Dr. C.J.M. de Klerk C.ss.R, Cultus en ritueel van het Orthodoxe Hindoeïsme in Suriname. Een boek dat is uitgegeven in 1951. Ik keek naar de rechterhoek van mijn computer en daar staat toch echt maart 2018. Het is een blik, de vooroordelen zoals de Nederlandse gemeenschap naar de Hindoestanen kijkt. De bovenstaande punten zijn individuele rechten die niet in het geding zijn. Ook niet binnen de Hindoestaanse gemeenschap. Ik ken genoeg jonge echtparen zonder – en met kinderen. Het zijn jongens en meisjes tussen de 23 en 35 jaar. Ze hebben een bewuste keuze gemaakt om wel of geen kinderen te nemen en dat wordt gerespecteerd. Zelfs binnen één gezin is die keuze gemaakt. Mijn nicht kwam in 1968 naar Nederland en heeft altijd gewerkt, met een kind. Toen Hindoestanen rond de onafhankelijkheid van Suriname in 1975 naar Nederland kwamen, gingen echtparen massaal een betaalde baan zoeken. Het was pure economische noodzaak, maar het gebeurde. Die vrouwen gaan nu vol trots met pensioen en zeggen: “Ik heb mijn eigen geld”. Ik heb het idee dat die vrouwen veel geëmancipeerder zijn dan die van de huidige generatie. Want die vrouwen hebben te maken gehad met dochters die gingen samenwonen en hun eigen partner hebben gekozen. Die vrouwen hebben moeten “dealen” met gewijzigde omstandigheden en keuzes. Met of zonder gemor. Maar wel geaccepteerd. Ik vind het ook vreemd dat één van dames zegt dat ze niet in een hokje te stoppen is. Maar deze dame liet zich tijdens de verkiezingen zich wel in het Surinaams hokje opsluiten vanwege de voorkeurstemmen. Van Leeuwarden tot in Den Haag zijn er bezoeken afgelegd voor de Surinaamse stem. Dit is een vorm van opportunisme die niet past. Als het je goed uitkomt dan zoek je het warme nest van die gemeenschap en anders geef je er lustig op af. Ik ga hier de Hindoestaanse gemeenschap echt niet verdedigen. Het is een gemeenschap zoals alle andere gemeenschappen, met fijne, mooie, prettige en oerlelijke kenmerken. Ik verwijs u graag naar het artikel van Meera Nankoe op FB van het Sarnámihuis. Maar deze vorm van zelffelicitatie van deze zelfbenoemde sufrragette’s, door de gemeenschap ten onterechte te bevlekken is gewoon niet juist. Want hoe meer deze succesvolle dames zeggen dat de gemeenschap niet deugt, des te meer zeggen ze: Kijk hoe succesvol ik ben, ondanks de bekrompenheid van de gemeenschap. Terwijl naar mijn mening de gemeenschap open en transparant is. Ik zou deze succesvolle dames adviseren om te luisteren naar het liedje “Dam máro dam” uit 1971. Want in dit liedje wordt de eerste aanzet gegeven tot individualisering van de Hindoestanen: Duniyá ne ham ko diyá kiyá, Duniyá se ham ne liyá kiyá, Ham sab ke parwá kare kiyo, Sab ne hamárá kiyá ká, Cáhe jiyenge marenge, Duniyá se ham ná darenge, Hamko ná roke zamáná, jo cáhenge ham karenge.

Ik ben mij er terdege van ervan bewust dat binnen één familie anders wordt aangekeken tegen de bovenstaande onderwerpen, maar één familie is nog niet de gehele Hindoestaanse gemeenschap. Ik geef ook grif toe dat voor mij zeker geldt, zalig zijn de onwetenden, omdat ik niet op sociale media ben aangesloten, de openbare riool van meningen. En omdat het een openbare riool is, moet je er ook geen aandacht aan schenken. Een bevriende moeder liet mij een app van haar dochter lezen, waarin door een Hindoestaans meisje van 15 wordt gevraagd of ze seks mag hebben tijdens Navrátan. Kijk, dacht ik, dat meisje heeft echt serieuze voorlichting nodig. Niet over seks maar over Navrátan.

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